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Thread: recent sci

  1. #1

    recent sci

    Hello...I am new to this site, but already hav spend a lot of time reading and researching. My husband fell 14 feet from a roof and fractured his C6-C7 on July 22. He had a fusion on July 24. He did have the methylprednisalone with a few hours (probably 2) of injury. He was transferred by life-flight to Metro Hospital Cleveland, Ohio. (level 1 trauma) and is now (after 5 weeks) in the Spinal Cord Rehab Unit here. This is hard work!! My husband can move his arms and is considered an incomplete injury because he does have sensation below his level of injury. He also can tell when he has defecated. That is a good sign, isn't it? Has anyone out there done their rehab at Metro?? We also have options to do rehab at the VA hospital Wade Park. Wondering which place is best?? He can move his wrists, but not his fingers. Has anyone out there recoverd use of their hands?? Of course the goal is to walk...but we want to definitely maximize his chance of regaining as much function as possible. Thank you for this wonderful site. Wife of recent SCI.
    Brenda

  2. #2
    I would definitely explore the Cleveland VA SCI Center for continuing his rehab. He will get better equipment there, and a longer more comprehensive rehab. Go visit and learn about their program. It is likely you are nearing the end of what your private insurance will pay for him as an inpatient at MetroHealth. When did he serve in the military? He may be entitled to a number of VA benefits that he could not get through his regular insurance.

    His injury is very recent. As incomplete as he is now, there is a very good chance he will regain more, but only time will tell. It will be at least 2 years before you know how much he will get back.

    Welcome to our forums...come back often!

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    534
    Welcome Brenda...

    SCI is devastating not only for the injured person but for the loved ones. You have found a great group of people here. My hubby fell also (about 30 feet) about 3 years ago and I can tell you that it will get better. I'm sure alot of members here will chime in. As KLD said... it's really early and it takes about 18 months to really ascertain how much function will return.
    If your hubby is a vet... please check out the VA system. Please come back often and know our prayers and thoughts are with you...

    Sieg

  4. #4

    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by ergvepeog
    Welcome Brenda...

    SCI is devastating not only for the injured person but for the loved ones. You have found a great group of people here. My hubby fell also (about 30 feet) about 3 years ago and I can tell you that it will get better. I'm sure alot of members here will chime in. As KLD said... it's really early and it takes about 18 months to really ascertain how much function will return.
    If your hubby is a vet... please check out the VA system. Please come back often and know our prayers and thoughts are with you...

    Sieg
    We have totally checked out the VA (3x) as a matter of fact. We were quite impressed. However, I am having difficulty getting someone in enrollment for catastrophic illnesses to answer her phone. (no voice mail) Think they are having problems. I will call an administrator there if I don't here from them soon because I have jumped through all the hoops that they have asked me to. Does anyone know what type of benefits he would be eligible for and what the copays would be. He was a Vietnam vet (drafted out of college) in 1971-1972. He has asked the government for nothing. Now we need their help. My insurance pays 100% here at Metro, but I have to pay 20% of durable medical equipment when he goes home. UGH!!! Very expensive. Any suggestions for me?? We have assets that we have saved for our retirement and do not qualify for medicaid. Any ideas that anyone has about this could help us!!
    A working registered nurse for 37 years, Brenda
    Brenda

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda
    I am having difficulty getting someone in enrollment for catastrophic illnesses to answer her phone. (no voice mail) Think they are having problems.
    No need to do that. Here is the link to the form (1010EZ) you need to complete:

    https://www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez/

    Once that is complete, and you have a copy of his DD214, call your PVA National Service Officer (he needs to sign a form to join PVA=Paralyzed Veterans of America...which is free) and tell them you need their help to get his Category 4 (catastrophic disability) eligiblity established and get him into the SCI Center there. They will act as his advocate.

    Cleveland OH PVA NSO Regional Office

    240 E. Ninth Street., Rm 1027
    Cleveland, OH 44199
    216-522-3214
    216-522-7709

    You can also talk to someone at the chapter office if you prefer:
    Paralyzed Veterans of America SCI Office

    Louis Stokes VA Medical Center
    10701 East Blvd., Room 6-A-117
    Cleveland, OH 44106
    216-791-3800, ext. 4159

    Does anyone know what type of benefits he would be eligible for and what the copays would be. He was a Vietnam vet (drafted out of college) in 1971-1972. He has asked the government for nothing. Now we need their help. My insurance pays 100% here at Metro, but I have to pay 20% of durable medical equipment when he goes home. UGH!!!
    Does he have his own insurance or is he covered on yours? Don't order ANY equipment at Metrohealth!! Rent if needed, but he is fully entitled to all durable medical equipment at the VA with NO COST TO HIM AND NO CO-PAYMENT. This includes wheelchairs, commodes, bathroom equipment, grab bars, etc. etc. etc. He will also be able to get his supplies (catheters, etc.) and drugs from the VA. They will bill his insurance if it still is in place, but if the insurance denies him, the VA will not bill him. If your income is high, then he may have a co-payment. For inpatient care it is $950/90 days, and $10/day. For outpatient care it is $48/day, and drugs are $11/prescription (usually 12 months, except for controlled drugs).

    As a Vietnam veteran he might be eligible for pension, but this would be dependent upon his current income. The PVA NSO (above) will have all the details on this and can also help with all the applications and file appeals with the VA and act as his representative so you don't have to worry about any of this.

    Call the PVA NSO tomorrow!!!

    (KLD)
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 08-28-2008 at 09:00 AM.

  6. #6
    Thanks KLD...I will call the PVA today.
    Brenda

  7. #7

    Smile VA benefits

    I talked with a very nice gentleman at the PVA office Wade Park. He was helpful. Gave me another contact# to check on my enrollment forms, which I not only mailed but faxed. They should have duplicates. However noone answers at the number he gave me. I guess I will have to find some supervisor there to talk to about these issues. Very frustrating for a wife who would much rather focus on helping her husband rehabilitate. I sure am learning a lot about red tape. He does not qualify for any VA disability pension because we make too much money. And if he were to transfer to their rehab facility there would definitely be copays. Think we will stay here and take advantage of my insurance (through cleveland clinic) at 100%. We are, however covered for 100% DME through the VA. My problem is making sure Metro and the VA can coordinate that. Isn't that the Case Managers job??? Seems like it should be. I will keep trying to get answers. Don't know why it is so difficult. Thanks for your help. If anyone thinks of anything else that would be helpful to me please let me know. Brenda
    Brenda

  8. #8
    It's so hard to say what will and won't since everyone is so different, but my husband recovered a whole lot of function.

    He too is in construction and we were terrified. His accident was in January. He has been back to his job since May...doing non-office work. Still not up on a ladder much, but he can swing a hammer and use a drill, etc.

    His therapy is SO important. We were lucky. They had the gait trainer, the TENS for his fingers, etc. My husband moved one leg shortly after his accident (days) and his other leg followed a couple of weeks or so after. His wrists began moving weeks later too. His fingers started moving (very slightly) after TENS therapy. I don't know if that was coincidence or not. He was Brown Sequard, so one side was definitely stronger than the other. Now both hands are about the same, but skills are not. His fine motor on one side has a definite deficit, but not bad.

    Have faith and hope and have him work like *#((. Prayers for you all.

    Lisa

  9. #9
    just wanted to wish you good luck and hope that you find a good rehab as regaining strength and relearning how to do things is hard to teach! especially when it is able bodied people who can walk & use their hands. They try very hard to put themselves in our positions and i am not knocking them at all. It is just hard. But he will get tips from others along the way and figure out much on his own. it is even hard for others to teach someone how to do something because every injury is different. While one can move these 3 fingers and not the other 2 the next person can maybe move those 2 but not the other 3! but tips from others are always helpful and then just not getting frustrated and trying until you figure out what is best for yourself. Again, good luck! It is a long road at 1st but always remember on bad days it won't always be that bad.

  10. #10
    Brenda, I am sorry to hear about your husband.
    Be sure to ask the VA about helping with modifications to your home for when your husband comes home. I am a C-5, Vietnam Vet, non service connected disability. Not only do I get all my meds and equipment through the VA. but they also helped me with modifying my bathroom and installing an elevator. Best of luck!


    Riz
    C-5 incomplete

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